Hunedoara County is a county in Transylvania.
- 1 Hunedoara — mostly known for the Hunyad Castle
- 2 Brad — has a museum dedicated to its gold mining heritage
- 3 Călan — industrial town during the communist rule, now mostly dead as the factories shut down. Two ancient medieval churches worth visiting are nearby.
- 4 Deva — capital of the Hunedoara county
- 5 Geoagiu — spa town
- 6 Hațeg — close to the bizarre St. Nicholas church of Densuș and to Ulpia Traia Sarmizegetusa — the capital of Dacia under Roman rule
- 7 Lupeni — gateway to the Straja ski resort
- 8 Petroșani — famous for the coal mines in the past, but plagued by unemployment since the mines closed after 1989. It is now mostly a gateway to the nearby mountains
- 9 Orăștie — ancient city with a strategic position throughout history
- 10 Râu de Mori — its dilapidated citadel may have inspired the novel The Castle in the Carpathians by Jules Verne
- 11 Simeria — its Dendrological Reserve has the oldest and most valuable collection of exotic and native plants of Romania, and it is the 3rd largest in Europe
- 12 Uricani — a base for exploring the Retezat National Park and Butii Gorge
The county is largely is made up of mountains, divided by the Mureș River valley which crosses the county from east to west. To the north side there are the Apuseni Mountains and to the south side there are mountains from the Southern Carpathians group, Parâng Mountains group and Retezat-Godeanu Mountains group: Orastie and Surianu Mountains (south-east), Retezat Mountains (south), Poiana Ruscai Mountains (south-west).
Hunedoara County was one of the most industrialised areas during the communist period, and was very negatively affected when the industry collapsed after the fall of the communist regime.
The industry in the Hunedoara county is linked with the mining activity in the region. In the mountains, from ancient times, metals and coal have been exploited. Now there is one large industrial complex at Hunedoara owned by Mittal Steel. There are also energy-related enterprises in the county: one of the biggest thermoelectric plant is at Mintia.
The Jiu Valley, in the south of the country, has been a major mining area throughout the second half of the 19th century and the 20th century, but many mines were closed down in the years following the collapse of the communist regime.
The city of Hunedoara has also suffered significantly from the 1990s onwards. Under communism it had the largest steel works in Romania (until Galați took the lead), but activity gradually diminished after the fall of communism due to the loss of the market. This was a blow to the overall prosperity of the town, which is now recovering through new investments.
Agricultural activities also take place in Hunedoara county, which include livestock raising, and fruit and cereal cultivation. The county also has touristic potential, especially through the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains and the Corvin Castle.
The Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains, part of UNESCO World Heritage, include:
- 1 Sarmizegetusa Regia. Sarmizegetusa is a hilltop fortress in Transylvania and was the capital of a Dacian kingdom from about 50 BC until the Romans dismantled its walls and deported its people in 106 CE. Today, there are only ruins. The nearest significant city is Orăștie. Sarmizegetusa was one of a system of Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- 2 Costești-Cetățuie Dacian fortress (Cetatea dacică Costești-Cetățuie).
- 3 Costești-Blidaru Dacian fortress (Cetatea dacică Costești-Blidaru).
- 4 Piatra Roșie Dacian fortress (Cetatea dacică Piatra Roșie).
Other places of interest include:
- 5 Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa (20 km from Hațeg). Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa — the capital of the Roman Dacia — rose at the bottom of Retezat Mountains, in the South-Western part of the Hateg region. The town was at 8 km from the pass between Banat and Transylvania, whose former name was Tapae, today Iron Gates of Transylvania. The settlement date of the capital is not known exactly. An inscription discovered at the beginning of the 14th century, in the village Gradiste - Sarmizegetusa says: "On the command of the emperor Cesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, son of the devine Nerva, was settled the Dacian Colony by Decimus Terentius Scaurianus, its governor". The name of the governor shows that the settlement of the new town was done in the first years of the concerning of Dacia (after some opinions in 106-107, after others 108-110). The settlement of the colony was marked also by the emission of a coin (sestertius) at Rome, from the Senate order, dedicated to "the best ruler", Traian emperor. The choosing of the place of the town by Traian was not at random. The metropolis had some strategical and economical advantages. Retezat Mountains at the South and Poiana Ruscai Mountains at the North were natural barriers difficult to cross for the eventual invaders. The capital, whose territory territorium was from Tibiscum to Micia till the entrance in the Jiu pass, was developing in peace, defended by the Roman camps Tibiscum (today Jupa), Voislova, Micia (Vetel) and Bumbesti. By Ulpia Traian was crossing the imperial road from Danube and marked the link between the north of the province to Porolissum (Moigrad). The antic city had an area of 32 ha surrounded by walls. In the hearth of the city were to main roads (cardo maximus oriented north-south and decumanus maximus oriented east-west), at its crossing being the main public building - Forum. But the city was not only inside the walls. Outside the walls, on a great area, were the village, the craftsmen workshops (brick makers, glass blowers), the temples and other public or private buildings. Also outside the walls were the cemeteries of the city (sepulcreta) identified at East and also at the West. The population was 25,000 - 30,000 people. The archaeologists have discovered and get out to light the constructions from old times of Ulpia Traiana, as many objects which are hosted in the museum from nearby.
Retezat National Park and other picturesque regions makes it one of the most beautiful counties in Romania. Also there can be found Dacian and Roman complexes in the Orăştie Mountains.
Skiing in the Straja resort near Lupeni is a popular activity.